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Trichothecene mycotoxins in the dust of ventilation systems in office buildings.

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Département des Sciences Biologiques, Université du Québec à Montréal, Canada.


Analysis of trichothecene mycotoxins in dust samples from ventilation systems of office buildings was applied as a rapid and inexpensive method for the detection of mycotoxins. Dust samples from three different office spaces of the Montreal urban area, reportedly affected by the "sick buildings syndrome", were analysed by thin-layer chromatography (TLC). Positive colour reaction on TLC plates with 4-(p-nitrobenzyl) pyridine, specific for the 12,13-epoxy group in the trichothecene nucleus, was obtained for the extracts of 0.5- to 50-g dust samples. The dust samples contained at least four trichothecenes: T-2 toxin, diacetoxyscirpenol, roridine A and T-2 tetraol. The results were confirmed by high-performance liquid chromatography analysis. Screening of dust samples from air ventilation systems of reportedly affected buildings provided direct evidence of trichothecene mycotoxins, with the detection limit estimated as 0.4-4 ng/mg dust. Thus, the dust sample analysis is suggested as a rapid technique for detecting the presence of myotoxins in the dust of ventilation systems.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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